For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-884-0812 (office)

AAC&U Announces Appointment of Ashley Finley as Senior Advisor to the President and Secretary to the Board

Jul 31, 2018

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the appointment of Ashley Finley as the Senior Advisor to the President and Secretary to the Board. Ashley has been an active AAC&U member and leader during her tenure at Dominican University of California.

Ashley currently serves as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Dominican Experience at Dominican University of California. She is also the national evaluator for Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP), a national project dedicated to understanding the intersection of students’ engaged learning, civic development, and well-being. Ashley is a highly sought-after speaker, presenter, and writer on the promotion of best practices for student learning across general education, academic departments, and cocurricular activities.

Her work at Dominican and with colleges and universities nationally has focused on engaging faculty and staff in developing student-centered, sustainable practices that enable the advancement of student success and learning with an emphasis on equity and evidence-based standards for improvement.

Ashley was previously the Senior Director of Assessment and Research at AAC&U from 2009 to 2015, and prior to that she served as a faculty member in the department of sociology at Dickinson College. Ashley earned her BA from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and an MA and PhD, both in sociology, from the University of Iowa.

“I am thrilled to welcome Ashley Finley as the new Senior Advisor to the President and Secretary to the Board,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “Ashley’s expertise and leadership in civic engagement and best practices for student learning across general education make her the ideal fit to advance liberal education, quality, and equity on behalf of AAC&U.”

Beginning her role as a member of AAC&U’s senior leadership team in early September, Ashley will provide strategic leadership and advice for disseminating and implementing AAC&U’s strategic plan, work closely with the vice presidents to develop and execute high priority projects, serve as a liaison with the Presidents’ Trust, and assist in the coordination of memberships, fundraising, and sponsorships.

Ashley’s recent publications include (1) Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices, (2) the edited volume Civic Learning and Teaching, and (3) Making Progress? What We Know about the Achievement of Liberal Education Outcomes, in addition to numerous book chapters and articles. She has participated as co–principle investigator or evaluator in a number of significant grant-funded projects, including a First in the World (FITW) grant from the US Department of Education.

"I am humbled to have the opportunity to work with Lynn Pasquerella and AAC&U’s exceptional staff to advance the mission of a liberal education,” Ashley said. “I find continued inspiration in the everyday efforts of faculty, staff, and campus leaders who are committed to equity, high-quality learning experiences, and advancing the skills most needed for students’ success in today’s world. This work is not easy or quick, but I do believe it will make all the difference—for our students, our institutions, and our civic and economic health. I am looking forward to the conversations and collaborations to come!"

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, faculty, and staff engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Through a broad range of activities, AAC&U reinforces the collective commitment to liberal education at the national, local, and global levels. Its high-quality programs, publications, research, meetings, institutes, public outreach efforts, and campus-based projects help individual institutions ensure that the quality of student learning is central to their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

Information about AAC&U can be found at